Creating a Necessary Dependence – An IT Business Alignment Whitepaper


Over the past several months, I have written several posts about the issues facing IT Business Alignment, a need to create a dependence between IT and the Business, and an emphasis on taking a process centric approach to the issue.

I decided to consolidate that into a white paper, which is now available. 

It’s not sponsored by a large software or hardware company, but does present an approach offered by my company (New Age Technologies) to help an organization move toward IT Business Alignment by focusing on a process to be improved, then understanding how it’s infrastructure and technology can help that process.

Please feel free to leave any comments about the paper at this post, or you can email me at the address on the paper.

I hope you enjoy!

Whitepaper:  Creating a Necessary Dependence: A Process Centric Framework for IT Business Alignment




Glenn Whitfield


2 Responses to Creating a Necessary Dependence – An IT Business Alignment Whitepaper

  1. Andrew Meyer says:


    I’m sure it won’t surprise you that someone whose company is the Capability Alignment Professionals and who writes a blog named “Inquiries into Alignment” cares about this topic. One of the reasons I like your blog is that our interests are similar, though our perspectives are different.

    Your whitepaper is well thought out and articulates a message that should resonate with IT leadership. Presumably that is the audience you’re writing for.

    My perspective is a little different, the audience I’m trying to reach is a little different and so the conclusions I draw are a little different.

    I’ve been buried at a client, so I haven’t been blogging much recently. But this will change as we shift more into a marketing mode.

    Understanding your audience is pretty important for deciding what you write. But in the next couple days I’ll start blogging again and I’ll put out a series of blogs that articulate my position more clearly. Hopefully I’ll receive some feedback that causes me to think more deeply.

    Briefly, I think our differences stem from a question of organizational structure. When I read you’re paper, if I had to give a one sentence summary, it would be: IT crosses all corporate boundaries and there is mutual dependence which must be acknowledged in order to define effective processes that achieve IT-Business alignment and efficiency.

    That is a reasonable and hopefully profitable perspective. My perspective is a little different. My perspective is that a business is set up to do something. Depending upon what that something is, the business model, the financing requirements and the business maturity; there will be a corporate structure and departments that clarify roles and responsibilities and define what productivity is for any department or person in that department.

    Taking that one step further, IT is a department. Depending upon what the business does, it might be more or less important than other departments, but it is simply a department with a budget and goals that need to align with other departments’ budgets and goals. To me, that is the basis for alignment.

    This is important because I believe that over the last fifteen years or so, IT spending has gone completely haywire. Furthermore, I believe, over the next five years or so, IT will be reduced to a department that will have it’s spending cut drastically. To achieve this, I believe many IT departments will be placed under the CFO, who will drive these cost reductions, say 10 to 20% a year.

    With this as background, you can easily predict who my audience will be (the CFO) the the lines of thought I will espouse.

    P.S. How was the Throughput Accounting book?

    P.S.S. I was actually fairly close to you over the weekend. My sister lives in Cincinnati and I managed to arrange a stop there. Beautiful part of the country.

  2. Andrew,
    Great comments! My thoughts stem from a belief that IT is in a unique position in most organizations to drive value and change throughout the organization since they “touch” everyone. IT should work horizontally across the organization instead of vertically. An argument could be made that HR is in this same situation, since it touches everyone; which would be true at a certain level, but HR policies don’t impact the way people perform their daily tasks in the way that IT does.

    With that said, I agree with you that IT spending is completely out of control, and that IT and the business units need to get a grasp of this. IT in enterprise organizations is on its way toward being marginalized by the very technology it espouses (cloud computing, SaaS, etc.) unless it can change its role from being one that deploys technology to a business unit to one that uses technology to help improve a business unit. With all the changes in technology in the past 30 years, and the way it has permeated our daily lives, why do we still structure our IT departments as though we were running a room full of mainframes?

    Looking forward to reading more of your stuff!

    p.s. – Throughput accounting book next up on the list (way too busy this time of year)
    p.s.s. – If you ever make it to Louisville, let me know!

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